Consider the following snippet from John Conroe’s Forced Ascent:
With the circle closed, we left the forensics people to collect their data and moved back to the vehicles. A black military-style Humvee had been added to the mix of cop cars, SWAT trucks, and coroner vans. Four men in black suits got out as soon as they saw us, looking every inch like federal intelligence agents.
“Chris Gordon—Agent Gulden, NSA. Come with us,” the lead agent said. Thirties, completely bald, six-one, one hundred eighty or so, dark eyes, serious demeanor. The other three were younger, two white, one black, all fit and serious.
“No,” I replied.
“That wasn’t a request,” Gulden stated, pinning me with his agent-man stare.
Behind us, I could just about feel the New Jersey troopers absorbing the confrontation.
“Well, just to be clear, Agent...my no was a general purpose refusal of requests, commands, orders, or directions.”
Does that move you? If so, why? More to the point, do you find it credible? If not, why not?
Who, in these latter days of the Republic That Was, has the courage to say No to an agent of the Omnipotent State? Especially one with weapons and backup?
Chris Gordon was willing to say No in the novel cited above because he’s an enormously powerful supernatural creature as well as a fictional character. In the circumstances he faced, very few of us normal types would have courage enough to do so. Yet the time is coming when Americans will be required to shout No at the myrmidons of the State or suffer to have their firearms confiscated.
Cliven Bundy said No to federal agents. He took a large risk in doing so. Yet he prevailed, because the public proved to be on his side...sufficiently so to defend him with even more force than those agents had marshaled against him.
The Oath Keepers who went to Ferguson, Missouri to protect threatened businesses there brought their arms. They refused the commands of federal agents to stand down and disperse. The feds backed down almost at once.
Various state governments are beginning to chorus No at the increasingly tyrannical and unbounded Environmental Protection Agency. The state governments’ armed force is pitiable in comparison with that of Washington...but their residents are another matter, and majority sentiment in those states is strongly behind them.
There’s a rising in progress.
While your weapons remain in your hands, you have power, a power best expressed by the single word No. But were you to be deprived of them...what then? Would the State recognize any bounds at all? Or would it finally run roughshod over every last right, however poorly protected it may have been, that we’ve been permitted to retain?
Consider Washington State’s I-594.
Consider New York’s Orwellian-named “SAFE Act.”
Consider the recent confirmation of Vivek Murthy as Surgeon-General.
Consider the Obama Administration’s endorsement of the UN’s despicable Small Arms Treaty.
And consider how little the popular trend in opinion on “gun control” means to the political class we endure.
They’re coming, Gentle Reader. Don’t allow them to soft-soap you, flummox you, or change the subject on you. And when you answer the doorbell and find them on your doorstep, you’ll confront a choice you’d rather not have to face: between No and “Of course, Officer; here they are.”
“I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was “No.”
As Robert Anton Wilson has told us, “The State is based on threat.” Were we free of fear of the State and the things it purports to “protect” us against, we would never tolerate it. Thus, to say No to the State is to say I do not fear you. It implies that the speaker has power of his own, and that he’s willing to stand on it despite the power the State has arrayed against him.
Nothing instills fear in the masters of the State quite as effectively as No. Yet there are dangers, severe ones. How many of us are willing to accept those dangers will determine whether freedom can be saved from the wolves striving to devour it...whether we might embrace the anarchist alternative after all.
How do we measure up to the standard set by those who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to the quest for freedom?
A time for reflection and examination of conscience is upon us.
UPDATE:The Oath Keepers that went to Ferguson did comply with local police commands to relinquish their posts. I was unaware of this until just now.